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Piney Flats methadone clinic proposal gets withdrawn

Rex Barber • Jan 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM

The proposal to rezone property to allow placement of a methadone clinic in Piney Flats did not make it to the Sullivan County Regional Planning Commission for consideration at Tuesday night’s meeting, having been withdrawn earlier in the day.

According to a document filed with the Sullivan County Planning Office, Gray Shipley applied to rezone property at 331 and 333 Industrial Park Road to allow a methadone clinic.

Shipley withdrew that request Tuesday afternoon, according to Ambre Torbett, Sullivan County director of planning and codes. She said no reason was given for the decision.

“So it was not heard last (Tuesday) night,” Torbett said. “If they ever decide to take it up again they’ll have to start the process over again.”

The property in question is now zoned as M-1 (Light Manufacturing District). Shipley was requesting the land be rezoned to M-2 (Heavy Manufacturing District), which would have allowed the clinic.

A methadone clinic dispenses methadone to help end opiate abuse or addiction. Opiates are drugs that include heroin, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Methadone clinics have been proposed in the region before and usually garner opposition. The proposed Piney Flats clinic was opposed by the group Citizens for Piney Flats. This group was collecting signatures on a petition opposing the clinic. This petition was to have been presented to the Regional Planning Commission, Mayor Steve Godsey and the county’s commissioners.

The group had been encouraging community members to attend Tuesday’s meeting to oppose the clinic.

The clinician seeking to establish the clinic has been back to the Sullivan County Planning Office to look for other methadone clinic locations. She has found no site yet, Torbett said.

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